Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, July 06, 2007

Rights group denounces detainee abuses in Iraqi Kurdistan

Torture and detainee abuse occur with alarming frequency in Iraqi Kurdistan, according to a report issued by Human Rights Watch on Tuesday.

The report, gleaned from research and interviews with over 150 detainees conducted last year, suggests that regional authorities often abuse and deny due-process to detainees.

“Although Kurdish authorities have taken serious steps to improve conditions at detention facilities, they must do more to end the practice of torture,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East director for HRW. “The government must punish prison officials and interrogators found responsible for abuse.”

Some informants in Asayish detention facilities accused authorities of using metal rods, blindfolds and handcuffs to torture them.

A significant portion of the abuses are apparently being carried out against suspected terrorists. In July 2006, the regional government was afforded expanded authority to combat terrorism through the passage of an anti-terrorism law.

HRW asserted that while Kurdistan officials have been cooperative and responsive, nothing substantive has been done to rectify the situation.

For the full report, click here.


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